LATAG Glossary

LATAG Glossary of Terms for Libby Asbestos CleanupLATAG refers to many different programs from different agencies on this website. EPA, state and city government agencies identify themselves with complex acronyms that you may not recognize at first and often use terminology specific to Superfund Sites. This glossary is intended to help you understand the acronyms and terminology used. Many of the organizations we reference on this site have websites and documents that are linked in this glossary.

(ATSDR) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

As the lead agency within the Public Health Service for implementing the health-related provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is charged under the Superfund Act to assess the presence and nature of health hazards at specific Superfund sites, to help prevent or reduce further exposure and the illnesses that result from such exposures, and to expand the knowledge base about health effects from exposure to hazardous substances.
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(ATSDR-HazDat) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Hazardous Substance Release/Health Effects Database

HazDat, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Hazardous Substance Release/Health Effects Database, is the scientific and administrative database that provides access to information on both the release of hazardous substances from Superfund sites or from emergency events, and on the effects of hazardous substances on the health of human populations.
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(CAA) Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (CAA) restricts the types and amounts of pollutants that may be released into the air and requires permits for large, and sometimes small, polluters. Superfund cleanup responses must comply with CAA requirements and the substances that are listed as hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the CAA are considered to be Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substances.
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(CAG) Community Advisory Group

Members of the community make up a Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), which serves as the focal point for the exchange of information among the local community, EPA, the state regulatory agency and other pertinent federal agencies involved in the cleanup of a Superfund site. More Info

(CBEP) Community Based Environmental Protection

Also known as Community Based Environmental Protection (CBEP), the Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities (OSEC) fosters the implementation of integrated, geographic approaches to environmental protection with an emphasis on ecological integrity, economic sustainability and quality of life. OSEC is involved in developing and supporting demonstration projects, tools and policies that support CBEP activities. More Info (PDF)

(CCL) construction completion list

EPA has developed a construction completion list (CCL) to simplify its system of categorizing sites and to better communicate about the successful completion of cleanup activities. Inclusion of a site on the CCL has no legal significance.Visit Website

(CEPPO) Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office

The Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) provides leadership, advocacy and assistance to prevent and prepare for chemical emergencies; respond to environmental crises; and, inform the public about chemical hazards in their community. To protect human health and the environment, CEPPO develops, implements, and coordinates regulatory and non-regulatory programs. Visit Website

(CERCLA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress in 1980. This law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Visit Website

(CERCLIS) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Information System

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Information System (CERCLIS) is an EPA database of information about Superfund sites. This information is intended for EPA employees to use for management of the Superfund program. Visit Website

(CLP) Contract Laboratory Program

EPA's Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) is a national network of EPA personnel, commercial laboratories and support contractors whose fundamental mission is to provide data of known and documented quality. The CLP supports EPA's Superfund effort under the 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). Visit Website

(CWA) Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law that protects our nation's waters, including lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal areas. More Info

(DED) Data Element Dictionary

The Data Element Dictionary (DED) enables users to find specific data elements that are categorized under the following tables: site, action, alias, operable unit and financial. The information contained in DED includes: element name, table name, common name and field definition. Visit Website

(DoD) Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) provides the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of the nation. As branches under DoD, the Army, Navy and Air Force are each responsible for the environmental restoration of sites under their control. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers supports cleanup actions at Superfund sites. Visit Website

(DOE) Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) ensures the nation's energy security, maintains the safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile, assists in cleaning up the environment from the legacy of the Cold War, and develops energy related innovation in science and technology. Visit Website

(DOT) Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation (DOT) ensures a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets the country's vital national interests and enhances the American people's quality of life. DOT collaborates with the EPA on such issues as air quality and smog reduction.Visit Website

(EJ) Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people-regardless of race, color, national origin, or income-in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. More Info

(EPA) Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects human health and safeguards the natural environment (air, water and land) upon which life depends. Visit Website

(EPCRA) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III, provides an infrastructure at the state and local levels to plan for chemical emergencies. Facilities that store, use or release certain chemicals, may be subject to various reporting requirements under EPCRA. Reported information is then made publicly available so that interested parties may become informed about potentially dangerous chemicals in their community. More Info

(ER) Emergency Response

The Emergency Response (ER) Program provides adequate and timely response measures in communities affected by hazardous substances and oil releases where state and local first responder capabilities have been exceeded or where additional support is needed. Visit Website

(ERNS) Emergency Response Notification System

The Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) is a database used to store information on notifications of oil discharges and hazardous substance releases. ERNS is now part of the National Response Center. Visite Website

(ERT) Environmental Response Team

The Environmental Response Team (ERT) was established under Section 311 of the Clean Water Act to provide on-site expertise as required by the National Contingency Plan (NCP) section on Special Forces. Visit Website

(ET) Ecotox Thresholds

Ecotox Thresholds (ET) are sufficient amounts of media-specific contaminant concentrations that indicate further site investigation is needed. Superfund site managers use ETs as screening tools to efficiently identify contaminants that may pose an ecological threat and to focus further site activities on those contaminants and the media in which they are found. More Info

(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

Superfund's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provides the public with explanations of some commonly misunderstood concepts and answers to some basic and general questions about the Superfund program. More Info

(FFRRO) Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office

EPA's Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) facilitates faster, more effective, and less costly cleanup and reuse of Federal facilities. FFRRO works with the DOD, DOE and other federal entities to help them develop creative, cost-effective solutions to their environmental problems. Visit Website

(FIFRA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA registration for all pesticides sold in the U.S. It also regulates the manufacture and use of pesticides and allows EPA to restrict or prohibit use of particularly harmful pesticides. More Info

(GIS) Geographic Information System

A Geographic Information System (GIS) electronically manages geographically referenced data. Through GIS, such data can be displayed, assembled, stored, and manipulated, and is frequently displayed in a map format. Examples of the use of GIS include county boundaries, land use, and pollution-monitoring locations. More Info

(HRS) Hazard Ranking System

The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) is the principal tool EPA uses to place waste sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). It is a numerically based screening system that uses information from initial, limited investigations-the preliminary assessment and the site inspection-to assess the relative potential of sites posing a threat to human health or the environment. More Info

(HSRC) Hazardous Substance Research Centers

The Hazardous Substance Research Centers (HSRC) oversees basic and applied research, technology transfer and training involving problems relating to hazardous substance management. These activities are conducted regionally by five multi-university centers, which focus on different aspects of hazardous substance management. Visit Website

(IEUBK) Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model for Lead in Children

The Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model for Lead in Children (IEUBK) attempts to predict blood-lead concentrations (PbBs) for children exposed to lead in their environment. Measured PbBs is not only an indication of exposure, but is a widely used index to anticipate future health problems. More Info

(INFOTERRA) Infoterra

Infoterra is an international environmental referral and research network made up of 177 countries coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The services offered by UNEP-Infoterra/USA include responding to requests from the international community for environmental information through document delivery, database searching, bibliographic products, purchasing information, and referrals to experts. In addition, UNEP-Infoterra/USA assists U.S. residents in identifying sources of international environmental information. Visit Website

(NCP) National Contingency Plan

The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, more commonly called the National Contingency Plan (NCP), is the federal government's blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases. This national response capability plan promotes the overall coordination among a hierarchy of responders and contingency plans. More Info

(NFRAP) No Further Remedial Action Planned

The archive No Further Remedial Action Planned (NFRAP) database contains information on sites which have been removed from the inventory of Superfund sites. Archive status indicates that to the best of the EPA's knowledge, Superfund has completed its assessment of a site and has determined that no further steps will be taken to list that site on the National Priorities List (NPL).

(NIEHS) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reduces the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes through multidisciplinary biomedical research programs; prevention and intervention efforts; and communication strategies that encompass training, education, technology transfer and community outreach. Visit Website

(NPL) National Priorities List

The National Priorities List (NPL) is an information and management tool of the Superfund site cleanup process. A specific site is listed on the NPL after the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) screening process has been completed and public comments about the proposed site have been solicited and addressed. More Info

(NRD) Natural Resource Damages

Natural Resource Damages (NRD) are defined as injury to, destruction of, or loss of natural resources. The measure of damages under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) is the cost of restoring injured natural resources to their normal condition, compensation for the interim loss of injured resources pending recovery, and the reasonable costs of a damage assessment. More Info

(O&M) Operation and maintenance

Operation and maintenance (O&M) activities protect the integrity of a Superfund site's cleanup plan. O&M measures are initiated by a state after cleanup objectives have been reached, and the site is determined to be operational and functional (O&F) based on state and federal agreement.

(OAR) Office of Air and Radiation

The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) develops national programs, technical policies and regulations for controlling air pollution and radiation exposure. Visit Website

(OECA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), works in partnership with EPA regional offices, and state, tribal, and other federal agencies to ensure compliance with the nation's environmental laws. By employing an integrated approach of compliance assistance, compliance incentives, and innovative civil and criminal enforcement, OECA and its partners seek to maximize compliance and reduce threats to public health and the environment. Visit Website

(OERR) Office of Emergency and Remedial Response

The Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR) manages the Superfund program, which was created to protect citizens from the dangers posed by abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Congress established Superfund through the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Visit Website

(OERRGIS) Office of Emergency and Remedial Response Geographic Information System

The Office of Emergency and Remedial Response Geographic Information System (OERRGIS) Work Group coordinates and shares information on GIS projects related to the Superfund and Oil Programs within the OERR and works with EPA Regional offices on GIS-related issues. Visit Website

(OPA) Oil Pollution Act

The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) was created largely in response to rising public concern following the Exxon Valdez incident to improve the nation's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills. OPA established provisions that expands the federal government's authority and provides the money and resources necessary to respond to oil spills. The OPA also created the national Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which can provide up to one billion dollars per spill incident. More Info

(OPP) Office of Pesticide Programs

The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) regulates the use of all pesticides in the U. S. and establishes maximum levels for pesticide residues in food, thereby safeguarding the nation's food supply. More Info

(OPPT) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics

The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) focuses on promoting pollution prevention efforts for controlling industrial pollution; safer chemicals through a combination of regulatory and voluntary efforts; risk reduction to minimize exposure to existing substances such as lead, asbestos, dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls; and public understanding of risks by providing understandable, accessible and complete information on chemical risks to the broadest audience possible. Visit Website

(OPPTS) Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substance

The Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substance (OPPTS) oversees the Office of Pesticides Programs (OPP) and the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). OPPTS promotes pollution prevention and the public's right to know about chemical risks. Some of OPPTS's top priorities include dealing with emerging issues like endocrine disrupters and lead poisoning prevention. Visit Website

(OSCP) Office of Science Coordination and Policy

The Office of Science Coordination and Policy (OSCP) provides coordination, leadership, peer review and synthesis of science policy within the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. OSCP program areas include biotechnology, endocrine disrupters and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). Visit Website

(OSEC) Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities

The Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities (OSEC) helps implement integrated, geographic approaches to environmental protection with an emphasis on ecological integrity, economic sustainability and quality of life-known as Community Based Environmental Protection (CBEP). OSEC develops and supports demonstration projects, tools and policies that sustain CBEP activities. More Info (PDF)

(OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) goals are to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers. OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2,100 inspectors, plus complaint discrimination investigators, engineers, physicians, educators, standards writers and other technical and support personnel in more than 200 offices throughout the country. This staff establishes protective standards, enforces those standards, and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs. Visit Website

(OSPS) Outreach and Special Projects Staff

The Outreach and Special Projects Staff (OSPS) coordinates and implements for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) the agency's principles and new initiatives, such as Brownfields, Environmental Justice (EJ), and the Tribal initiatives. Through its unique cross-program perspective, OSPS involves all stakeholders and seeks to leverage OSWER resources through partnerships with EPA Headquarters and Regions, public and private organizations, and the general public.

(OSW) Office of Solid Waste

The Office of Solid Waste (OSW) operates under authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). OSW protects human health and the environment by ensuring responsible national management of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Visit Website

(OSWER) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) develops guidelines and standards for the land disposal of hazardous wastes and underground storage tanks. OSWER also implements a program to respond to abandoned and active hazardous waste sites and accidental releases, including some oil spills, and encourages the use of innovative technologies for contaminated soil and groundwater. Visit Website

(PA/SI) Preliminary Assessment (PA) and Site Inspection (SI)

EPA uses the Preliminary Assessment (PA) and Site Inspection (SI) to evaluate the potential for a release of hazardous substances from a site. Information collected during the PA and SI is used to calculate a Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) score. Sites with an HRS score of 28.50 or greater are eligible for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL) and require the preparation of an HRS scoring package. More Info

(PRPs) Potentially Responsible Parties

Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) are individuals, companies or any other party that is potentially liable for payment of Superfund cleanup costs. More Info

(RCRA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) protects human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, conserves energy and natural resources, reduces the amount of waste generated, and ensures that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner. More Info

(RD/RA) Remedial Design/Remedial Action

Remedial Design (RD) is the phase in Superfund site cleanup where the technical specifications for cleanup remedies and technologies are decided. Remedial Action (RA) follows the remedial design phase and involves the actual construction or implementation phase of Superfund site cleanup. The RD/RA is based on the specifications described in the record of decision (ROD). More Info

(RI/FS) remedial investigation/feasibility study

After a site is listed on the NPL, a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) is performed at the site. The RI serves as the mechanism for collecting data, while the FS is the mechanism for developing, screening, and evaluating alternative remedial actions. The RI and FS are conducted concurrently. Data collected in the RI influence the development of remedial alternatives in the FS, which in turn affect the data needs and scope of treatability studies and additional field investigations. More Info

(RMP) risk management programs

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires covered facilities (referred to as stationary sources) to develop risk management programs (RMP) to prevent accidental releases of dangerous chemicals. Covered stationary sources are those that have certain regulated substances present in excess of applicable thresholds. More Info

(ROD) Record of Decision

The Record of Decision (ROD) is a public document that explains which cleanup alternatives will be used to clean up a Superfund site. The ROD for sites listed on the NPL is created from information generated during the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study. More Info

(SARA) Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1986. SARA's changes stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites; required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements found in other state and federal environmental laws and regulations; provided new enforcement authorities and settlement tools; increased state involvement in every phase of the Superfund program; increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites; encouraged greater citizen participation in making decisions on how sites should be cleaned up; and increased the size of the trust fund to $8.5 billion. More Info

(SCDM) Superfund Chemical Data Matrix

The Superfund Chemical Data Matrix (SCDM) is a source for factor values and benchmark values applied when evaluating potential National Priorities List (NPL) sites using the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). Factor values are part of the HRS mathematical equation for determining the relative threat posed by a hazardous waste site and reflect hazardous substance characteristics, such as toxicity and persistence in the environment, substance mobility, and potential for bioaccumulation. Benchmarks are environment- or health-based substance concentration limits developed by or used in other EPA regulatory programs. More Info (PDF)

(SDWA) Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) protects the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. More Info

(SPCC) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) were developed by the EPA's Oil Spill Program to aid in the prevention, assessment, control, and treatment of oil spills. The guidelines are often used to help draft plans of action when dealing with oil spill disasters. More Info

(STROLE) Superfund Enhanced State and Tribal Role Initiative

Superfund Enhanced State and Tribal Role Initiative (STROLE) is a comprehensive plan that encourages states and tribes to share in Superfund program responsibilities, thus enabling the cleanup of more sites. More Info

(SuperJTI) Superfund Job Training Initiative

The Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) supports job training opportunities in communities affected by Superfund sites, and encourages trainee employment in site cleanup activities. More Info

(TAB) Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities

The Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB) program is a part of EPA's Brownfields Initiative that helps communities clean and redevelop properties that have been damaged or undervalued by environmental contamination. The purpose of these efforts is to create better jobs, increase the local tax base, improve neighborhood environments, and enhance the overall quality of life. More Info

(TAG) Technical Assistance Grant

A Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) provides money for activities that help a community participate in the decision-making process of site-specific cleanup strategies at eligible Superfund sites. More Info

(TIO) Technology Innovation Office

The Technology Innovation Office (TIO) acts as an advocate for new technologies, working to increase the application of innovative treatment technologies to contaminated waste sites, soils and groundwater. As a part of this effort, TIO has worked with many partners inside EPA, in other federal agencies, and in the private sector to improve the nation's understanding of cleanup technologies and reduce the impediments to their widespread use. Visit Website

(TOSC) Technical Outreach for Communities

The Technical Outreach for Communities (TOSC) program uses university educational and technical resources to help community groups understand the technical issues involving the hazardous waste sites in their area. EPA believes that an understanding of these underlying technical issues is a basic requirement for meaningful citizen participation in the hazardous waste decision-making process. More Info

(TRI) Toxics Release Inventory

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database contains information concerning waste management activities and the release of toxic chemicals by facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use such materials. Citizens, businesses, and governments can then use this information to work together to protect the quality of their land, air and water. More Info

(TRW) Technical Review Workgroup for Lead

The Technical Review Workgroup for Lead (TRW) and the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model for Lead in Children (IEUBK) is an interoffice workgroup that supports and promotes consistent application of the best science in the field of lead (Pb) risk assessment at contaminated sites nationwide. More Info

(TSCA) Toxic Substances Control Act

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) enables EPA to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals currently produced or imported into the U.S. EPA repeatedly screens these chemicals and can require reporting or testing of those that may pose an environmental or human-health hazard. EPA can ban the manufacture and import of those chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk. More Info

(UST) underground storage tank system

An underground storage tank system (UST) is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA has established regulatory programs to prevent, detect, and clean up releases from USTs containing petroleum or hazardous substances. More Info

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